Upcycle, recycle and reuse

The Sewing Rooms recently completed several projects showcasing the innovative reuse of materials and creative skill of our teams. Having already worked with Sheffield Hallum University on the student bar, we were excited to be asked back to help refurbish the student guild. Reupholstering furniture, making new cushions and building new pieces of furniture – all from upcycled materials – not only gave the space a new look and feel, it also kept many kilos of waste from landfill.

And who could resist a beautiful dog bed like these? Our “Out of this World” range is a series of luxury dog beds made from reused materials and exquisite Panaz fabrics. This could be the Christmas gift for the dog lover in your life!

Get in touch if you’d like more information!

Our thanks to the continued support from Panaz!

The team at Panaz recently hosted the Sewing Rooms’ team for a fantastic festive session of sewing! We made decorations, listened to Christmas music and of course, had a few nibbles! The support of Panaz through the company’s donations of fabric continues to enable The Sewing Rooms to provide the one-of-a-kind products and services we are known for. We cannot thank them enough.

And a couple of weeks earlier, we had an inspiring session with the Panaz team led by CEO Tony Attard to discuss future growth potential and opportunities. We look forward to further development!

Advocates for social good

The Sewing Rooms co-founders Paula Gamester and Maureen Fazal have had a very busy Autumn. Speaking at a number of events around the country, they have shared their expertise gained through first-hand experience.

Most recently, Paula and Maureen spoke at the BBI Health and Social Care HOMES Summit that explored how housing affects health and wellbeing. Earlier this year, they presented their shared vision for ageing well to The South West Academic Health Science Network. And locally, Paula and Maureen spoke at the Lancashire 50+ Forum in September.

Collaboration is key in the social sector, and social enterprise is a cornerstone of strong communities. As a force for good, and through the work of dedicated individuals and organisations, social enterprise is making inroads into reducing inequalities and improving life for people around the world. Please get in touch to find out ways you can get involved – from #BuyingSocial for gifts to donating fabrics and items or your time, the entire team at The Sewing Rooms would love to hear from you!

Taking part in the Ageing Well Torbay Festival

Our Transform Ageing programme – Sewing Torbay Together – has finished its community banner and will display it as part of the fourth annual Ageing Well Torbay festival on Saturday 20 October. Supported by UnLtd, the Design Council, the Big Lottery Fund and Torbay Community Development Trust, we held sewing sessions in Brixham, Torbay and Paignton for people over the age of 50.

#BuySocial

This has been an important component of our social business since the very start. We sell a variety of upcycled and bespoke products created by our manufacturing department, including reupholstered chairs and sofas, made-to-order curtains, soft furnishings and accessories such as scarves and bags. We use the beautiful fabric donated to us by Panaz for many of these projects and were shocked and dismayed when news broke of the wastefulness of some of the fashion industry’s giants. We have saved thousands of kilograms of fabric from landfill and when possible, we hire local craftspeople who have completed one or more of our sewing and upholstery courses.

As ever, if you’re looking for a gift, we’d love to help. We have myriad upcycled products available and even more ideas, and if we can’t provide you with what you’re looking for, we can put you in touch with other social businesses who may be able to help!

One of the social enterprises we have been working with is Kitty’s Laundry! We’ve made their lovely bags and can’t wait to see the business prosper!

Exciting news! Co-founder Paula shortlisted in EVA awards

Our co-founder Paula Gamester is a finalist in this year’s Enterprise Vision Awards (EVA) in the Inspirational Women category! The prestigious awards recognise women in business from across the North West. Public votes can help decide the outcome in situations where the judges’ scores are tied. To show your support, visit www.enterprisevisionawards.co.uk to vote from 20 August 2018.

We’re all very proud of Paula and her many achievements!!

Sewing Torbay Together

Mindful sewing, making new friends and unleashed creativity! It’s all happening as part of the Ageing Well in Torbay project. Led by Laura Scott of the Sewing Rooms’ Sew Fab Academy, women over the age of 50 are working together to create a Sew Fab banner depicting the beauty and meaning of their local area. We’ll post again with more details from the finished banner. In the meantime, here is the gorgeous project in progress!

34 years of Alternative Ascot

We had so much fun and can’t thank enough everyone who attended!

Remembering the women who came before us

Here we are marching in the June 2018 Processions event in London – our wonderful banner is the result of creative inspiration and hard work from a number of people across Lancashire, including students from Manchester University. Led by Laura Scott, we used Panaz fabrics (and the Panaz team sewed with us) and the handicrafts of many to create our eye-catching banner. At the end of the March, the Sewing Rooms team was interviewed by the BBC. Here’s to everything we can do to help achieve an equal and fair society.